Monday, November 24, 2008


American singer-songwriter Josh Rouse has been garnering a growing reputation over the past seven years with his soulful, country-tinged music. He recently left his hometown of Nashville and settled in Valencia. thisisbalencia caught up with him...

thisisvalencia: You've been on the music scene for over 10 years, recording and touring the U.S. and Europe. Your latest album 'Nashville' went international. Why do you think so many people connected with it?

Josh Rouse: Well, it's only been 7 years of touring and releasing records, but it feels like ten. All of my records have been released internationally and thus I've been playing concerts with a band or solo to support those records. I think the culmination of touring, word of mouth, press; all these things have helped in finding an audience, especially for someone like myself who is not "mainstream". The album prior to Nashville, "1972" really reached a wider audience than my previous albums. thus Nashville was well received because my fan base had grown significantly...and it was a good album as well. Hah!
read more by clicking the headline


Praying Mantis in a fig tree

Thursday, November 20, 2008

America's Cup: GGYC publishes a 10 point plan for Protocol changes

The following is a 10-point plan that articulates simple changes to the proposed Protocol for America’s Cup 33 that would address the concerns of many Challengers who want to ensure that the rules of AC33 are fair.  With the exception of #10, the plan is based on the points we negotiated with the Challengers in December last year, and reflect further concessions since offered.  Agreement to these 10 points by the Challenger community could return AC33 to the water as early as 2010.
1. Once the changes to the Applicable Rules are completed, any further changes to Applicable Rules governing AC33 shall be mutually agreed between Defender and the Challenger of Record (COR) (subject to point #2).
2. All Challenger of Record decisions, including agreeing to the ACC Rules, Event and Competition Regulations, shall be made by majority vote of the Challengers in a Challenger Commission, one vote per team, including the COR who also has one vote, except that material amendments to the Protocol, Event Regulations or Competition Regulations, once agreed and issued, can be made only by unanimous vote of Competitors.
3. The current Arbitration Panel shall be dissolved and a new Arbitration Panel shall be appointed comprised of five members; SNG and the Challenger Commission shall each appoint two members, and the other four shall select the fifth member.
4. The Defender can race in the Challenger Round Robins, Challenger Sail-Off and Challenger Secondary Series. The Defender cannot sail in the Challenger Semi Finals and Final. Larry Ellison’s letter of 17 October 2008 to Ernesto Bertarelli offered several options in this regard, which BOR stands by.
5. The “Fair Competition” clause (2.3 of the Protocol) shall be expanded to include the Officials, Sailing Jury and Arbitration Panel.
6. The Defender and Challenger of Record shall jointly appoint a Regatta Director who shall be responsible for ensuring fair races are conducted in accordance with the terms of the Protocol. The Regatta Director shall have the same powers as for the last America’s Cup (he or she appoints/manages race committee, appoints measurement committee, umpires, and other officials as needed, prepares and publishes Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions).
7. Entries from AC32 challengers shall be accepted and not thereafter disqualified provided continued compliance with the rules, and then only by the Arbitration Panel.
8. AC33 shall be held in Valencia with AC32 teams retaining their bases if they desire.  In addition, the format and Schedule to be published by ACM ahead of time and not to be altered without consent of affected Competitors.
9. Each Challenger and the Defender may be limited to building only one new boat. As a result of this change, and as consideration for allowing the Defender into the Challenger selection series, there can be no Defender selection series.
10. There shall be no restrictions on Competitors’ sponsors or any control by the Defender or ACM over Competitors’ sponsors beyond the traditional restrictions (e.g., no tobacco sponsors). Moreover, ACM shall not ambush existing team sponsors, and if ACM secures an Event sponsor that conflicts with a major sponsor of a Competitor, that Competitor shall be under no obligation to display ACM sponsor logos on its yacht, base or team gear or otherwise promote or associate with such Event sponsor.

Love the things you see on walls here in Valencia

These little signs just tickled our fancy!
Why would you be closed for Italian reasons?

A busy Weekend

The weekend of the 7-9 November was a busy one - the CNEV Regattas with for teams from the America's Cup competing fro the CNEV Trophy (read all about it by clicking the headline) then there was the Ski and Mountain show in the Riverbed and an art fair that took over two floors of bedrooms in the Hotel Astoria,

Monday, November 03, 2008

Hats and Masks - the latest thisisvalencia party

Saturday 8 November 2008
From 11.30pm
at 39º27N, Marina Juan CarlosI, Port America's Cup
and we have tickets for Las Animas Puerto at crazy prices on the night!

sábado 8 noviembre
a partir de las 23h30
en 39º27N, en el Puerto America's Cup
habrá entradas de Las Animas Puerto a la venta a un precio especial

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Brazilian Grand Prix

Brazilian Grand Prix
Sao Paulo
Sunday 2 November 2008

Track: 4.31 km
Laps: 71

The Race
If you have heard that this was an exciting race, you were misinformed. This Brazilian Grand Prix will go down in history as one of the all-time great Formula 1 races.

The scene was set with a young up-start who appeared on the scene just one year ago and proceeded to demolish former world champions with apparent ease. The fact that Lewis Hamilton had the World Championship within his grasp in his first year just left everyone open-mouthed. When he lost to Kimi Raikkonen in 2007, there was a feeling of relief within the Formula 1 family. This year there was no mistaking Hamilton’s intent and after several impetuous mistakes, he almost visibly became a calmer, more assured and responsible driver. He came to Sao Paulo this year with a 7 point lead over Felipe Massa, his only rival for the title.

Thunder clouds were gathering as the cars lined up and the start was postponed as the first heavy raindrops fell. The safety car was brought out as the rain eased off but, with the forecast of no further rain for 40 minutes, the cars got away just a few minutes later. Led by Massa, Jarno Trulli, Raikkonen and Hamilton, the expected drama at the first corner came from those who followed. Heikki Kovaleinen, who was supposed to protect Hamilton’s rear, was himself overtaken by both Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel. David Coulthard’s last F1 race ended shortly afterwards, having been hit by Rosberg and then by Nakajima. Nelsinho Piquet’s race was also over in this first lap. The resulting carnage meant the safety car emerging until the track was cleared on lap 4. As soon as the track began to dry, Alonso and Vettel dived into the pits for a tyre change. The leaders followed but somehow Hamilton managed to lose a place and was then slowed by Adrian Suthill (Force India).

There was a belief that the Ferraris were on a 2-stop strategy for fuel but this proved to be wrong as Massa stayed out until lap 38, by which time he had pulled out over 20 seconds on Hamilton. Alonso was next to pit, followed by Raikkonen and Hamilton. Raikkonen pitted for just 5.1 seconds to get out ahead of Hamilton, who was now lying 5th. With just 14 laps remaining, cars were alerted to rain due in ten minutes. Nick Heidfeld was first to pit, followed by Alonso, Raikkonen and Hamilton. Massa came in but rejoined the race still in the lead. Timo Glock stayed out on dry tyres which drew him up into 4th place. As the rain got heavier, Vettel overtook Hamilton with just 3 laps to go, pushing the young Briton into 6th place and out of the championship! Hamilton tried everything to get back, but Vettel was just too quick. Coming into the final straight, the Ferrari team were on their feet cheering Massa. As Vettel and Hamilton raced through the final bend, they caught and passed Glock who was struggling on dry tyres. Massa wins the Brazilian Grand Prix but Hamilton wins the World Championship, the youngest driver to do so. Fernando Alonso drove a superb race to take second place and move up to fifth overall after a dismal first half of the season. Kimi Raikkonen was third and also moves up to third overall. Ferrari takes the Constructor’s championship once again with McLaren and BMW Sauber second and third.

What a superb end to the season!

Mike O’Neill

The top eight finishers were:
1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
3 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)
4 Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso)
5 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
6 Timo Glock (Toyota)
7 Heikki Kovaleinen (McLaren)
8 Jarno Trulli (Toyota)

Top ten drivers in 2008:
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 99
2 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 98
3 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 75
4 Robert Kubica (Sauber BMW) 75
5 Fernando Alonso (Renault) 61
6 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW) 60
7 Heikki Kovaleinen (McLaren) 53
8 Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso) 35
9 Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 31
10Timo Glock (Toyota) 25

Top Teams in 2008:
1 Ferrari 172
2 McLaren 151
3 BMW Sauber 135
4 Renault 80
5 Toyota 56

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Brazilian Grand Prix

Brazilian Grand Prix
Sao Paulo
Sunday 2 November 2008

Track: 4.31 km
Laps: 71

Felipe Massa stamped his authority over the Formula 1 field at Interlagos today, gaining pole position for the third successive year. Alongside him is Jarno Trulli (Toyota) who planned carefully for this final GP of the season. Two days ago he was in bed with ‘flu. But today he conserved his tyres and then went for it; later saying:”this shows the progress we have made this season. Now we hope to finish on a high." Kimi Raikkonen claimed third spot ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who has to finish in the top five if Massa wins, otherwise he will forfeit the Championship that so nearly was his last year. Heikki Kovaleinen (5th) will have to be ‘rear gunner’ with a vengeance tomorrow if he is to keep Fernando Alonso (6th) from harassing his former team-mate. Sebastian Vettel is seventh, just ahead of Nick Heidfeld. Sebastian Bourdais is ninth, with Timo Glock tenth.

A real surprise is that Robert Kubica, lying third overall in the championship could only manage thirteenth due to problems with grip.

This will be the final Grand Prix race for David Coulthard (37), who starts 14th on the grid. We wish him well for tomorrow’s race and for whatever plans he has for the future.

The forecast? There is a threat of thunderstorms during the race which starts at 14.00 and can be seen (in Catalan) on TV3. A repeat is usually shown on CH33 at 22.00.

The grid line-up:
1 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
2 Jarno Trulli (Toyota)
3 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 57
4 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
5 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren)
6 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
7 Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso)
8 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW)
9 Sebastian Bourdais (Toro Rosso)
10 Timo Glock (Toyota)

Top six after 17 races:
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 94
2 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 87
3 Robert Kubica (Sauber BMW) 75
4 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 69
5 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW) 60
6 Fernando Alonso (Renault) 53

Mike O’Neill